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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Things I always Tell myself I will do After Exams End

I'm in the middle of exams and as always when I'm closer to the end than the start (one more week to go. finally) I always start thinking of what I'll do when exams are done. Like if there'll be this big change or new era that dawns when I have so much time free that I spend studying before exams. Usually never happens but I figured I'd list them. Maybe if they're visible and not mental I might stick to it more.

1. Sleep at a reasonable hour and for more than four hours a day

2. Eat proper meals at regular times with good nutrition

3. Following from 1&2, go gym regularly with no skipping days. Keep track of workouts. Try to progress. No cheats and slacking off or lazy days.

4. Read more

5. Write more

6. Try to figure out what I want to do, where I want to be in the next 5 years. Where to apply for postgrad research studies. What to apply to study. Do I want to study Creative Writing or Finance?

7. Practice playing guitar until I'm somewhat decent. Practice playing bass until I'm better than decent.

8. Run 5 miles in less than 35 minutes. Complete a lap of UWI in less than 9 minutes.

9. Don't skip days of football. Actually develop some level of control.

10. Perfect a backflip to go with a frontflip.

11. Learn to bake. Cheesecake mainly. Only cheesecake. Maybe a coffee crumble

12. Travel. This is the only one that usually works out. I feel like I need to fly somewhere every six months or so.

13. Learn a foreign language, leaning towards German or Portuguese.

14. Perfect my 3 point shot

15. Not waste hours watching films on the laptop.

16. Attempt to figure out if my sister is sane. Signs suggest not a chance.

17. Go to temple more regularly.

18. Attempt to deconstruct why poetry is good when it is good, instead of just being able to realize when is without understanding why.

19. Figure out a decent thesis proposal in case I really want to study Econ or Finance. Probably with football and financial fair play. Or value of goals and who is the best value striker wrt wages vs revenue creation.

20. Complete a manuscript in case I decide I want to do a MFA in Creative Writing. One that people won't believe a non-Humanities student created.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A list about decent romance films (This Millennium) -part ii


I did a list pretty similar to this one about three years ago(http://randomnonsenseaboutthings.blogspot.com/2009/10/list-about-romance-movies-post-1990.html). Time flies, yeah? Good films have been out since then and I figured why not update. Probably put in some descriptions of why it's good too. I'm going to lean more toward the romance than romance-comedy but I'll probably draw from a few genres. I don't think only happy endings deserve mention (I like reality reflected in film), so don't expect romance to equate with successful coupley-ness. I'm going to stick with movies that have one main couple or one clear transition (Vicky Christina Barcelona is out but Midnight in Paris is in, to stick with the Woody Allen motif), but even that might be not set in stone.

Extra: Cause I saw Take This Waltz between publishing part one and two of this list

* Take This Waltz -2010







Why: I love my home city, Toronto and so I was already likely to love this film (especially with the Leonard Cohen song-reference as a title). It plays out brilliantly with everything I like in a romance film: chance meetings, realism, tension, questioning of what's the right thing to do.\The slow, confusing, tension-filled build-up of the entire film (even though it may possibly run on just a bit too long) interspersed with the intimate portrayals of marriage only help to make the characters more relatable.

9. Slumdog Millionare -2008










Why: I've always thought this film was a Bollywood film in English, with the same themes of unlikely events and tragic, separated lovers that are everpresent in Indian cinema (or used to be anyway. I haven't seen a Bollywood film since 3 idiots and that's not really conventional filmi). I'm not a big fan of Bollywood but the themes are solid and with a good script, director and support staff it can be a great experience (the actors in India are more than good enough). To come back to the point; poverty, unlikely triumph against the odds and enduring love. What's not to like?

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 2004











Why: Haven't we all wanted that selective memory removal device after a break-up? I know I've wanted to wipe some people out of my brain (still working on it). I thought this film managed to show reality of a tumultuous relationship but in a completely original way. This film could be characterized as sci-fi, romance, maybe even psychological thriller (cause it's happening in the head, right?). Plus everyone who wants to wipe their selective memories also has a part wanting to keep them too, just like in the film. Also Jim Carrey in an excellent serious role.

7.Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain (Amelie)  - 2001








Why: More Audrey. This film, you can be forgiven for forgetting is a romance, because Amelie dominates the screen. She is an unforgettable; mischievous and quirky character but who ultimately needs help ending her loneliness in the same way she helps others in their lives. The film is sweet enough to rot teeth but never cliche (or maybe in a good way). And it's set in Montmarte mostly, my favorite arrondissement part of Paris (cept for maybe the Latin Quarter).



6. Midnight in Paris- 2011







Why: If you can't appreciate this movie, it says a lot about if you've ever felt the need to read.Ever. Great film about Paris during my favorite era (or at least how I imagine it was). I relate to Owen Wilson's character quite a lot. And I also think the love story in this is as much about love for an era or a city as much as for a person.

5. Once- 2007







Why : I love the camerawork most of all, surprisingly. The shaky, single camera, homemade feel of it gives more appeal to this musical. Of course, the actors (really musicians) give a natural feel to the movie and have immense chemistry, which helps the movie to never lag. The music scenes are poignantly romantic too; the studio and the music shop scenes especially. Also this is the film that gave us the song 'Falling Slowly'.

4. Wall-E -2008








Why: It's a future post-apocalyptic robot love story. Doesn't sound like too much fun but it's Disney-Pixar so it's not too dark and scary, obviously. As visually perfect a film as could be created (it is animated after all). And it gives one the important lesson that perhaps one needs to give a girl a plant to be taken seriously. I've been advised I need more plants.

3. In The Mood for Love -2000







Why: Gorgeously shot film, set in Hong Kong during the 60's with the costumes and cinematography to set up the magic. A story about getting closer but never close enough; dealing with shared secrets and the borderline between requited and unrequited love. The magic that could have been yet only managed to fade away. It's impossible not to feel strongly for these characters.


2. (500) Days of Summer - 2009







Why: When I first watched this I despised the character of Summer. I still don't like her much (reminds me of too much girls I know) but it's taken a lot of repeated viewings to realize that Tom is far from a flawless character. Or even a good one, for that matter. I still think this film is one of the most accurate representations of (some, a specific type really) relationships or at least the relationship most guys have to become un-Tom-like.



1. Before Sunset - 2004








Why: I have been watching this film over and over since I discovered it (actually saw this before Before Sunrise). This didn't need to be made after the perfect ending of the first film but I'm so glad it was made. There is such a natural flow between Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke, the conversation never lags nor do the discussions seems cliche or overdone. It is, without a doubt, possibly the most realistic and unforgettable romance film of the decade.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A list about decent romance films (This Millennium)-part i

I did a list pretty similar to this one about three years ago(http://randomnonsenseaboutthings.blogspot.com/2009/10/list-about-romance-movies-post-1990.html). Time flies, yeah? Good films have been out since then and I figured why not update. Probably put in some descriptions of why it's good too. I'm going to lean more toward the romance than romance-comedy but I'll probably draw from a few genres. I don't think only happy endings deserve mention (I like reality reflected in film), so don't expect romance to equate with successful coupley-ness. I'm going to stick with movies that have one main couple or one clear transition (Vicky Christina Barcelona is out but Midnight in Paris is in, to stick with the Woody Allen motif), but even that might be not set in stone.




18. In Search of a Midnight Kiss - 2007




Why: Possibly another dull and miserable New Year's ahead? We've all been there. Wilson gets talked into posting a personal ad on Craigslist and then it takes off from there. A story that's strange and funny, very realistic and without a perfect ending. Easy to relate to and hard not to feel for the characters.

17.Garden State - 2004




Why: I didn't like this at all when I first saw it, which is probably why no one takes criticisms on film from sixteen year olds very seriously. I watched it over in 2008 and loved it. The themes of making a start and breaking away from living half a life resonate, as well as the idea of closure and being able to progress via meeting new people. As much as it has been said, the soundtrack for the film is as much as what makes it good as the acting or script. (Give us another just like it Zach Braff)

16. Gegen die Wand (Head on) - 2004




Why: I like immigrant stories (despite how cliche that is with my displacement-ness) and I like immigrant love stories since they're so much more hopeful than other stories. Isn't immigration on the whole an act of faith with hope of redemption or deliverance? Perhaps. Sometimes it isn't always what is expected. Sometimes marriage isn't what's expected. All of that is explored in this film, set in the Turkish-German community.

15. Certified Copy -2010




Why: Not really a film about art, though art plays a major role in it. It covers a day where the main characters set out as strangers and then the depth of their relationship blurs. The cinematography is brilliant, especially with the use of mirrors. The couple, with their topical variances from serious to comic, have no semblance of artificiality  at all. Might be as much down to the screenwriter as to the actors.

14. Two Lovers - 2008




Why: I spent most of this film thinking the guy is an idiot for going for the wrong one. But I guess everyone has been at a point when they think what they want is what's right even when it seems obvious it isn't going to end well. A sad movie in the majority but with occasional crescendos of happiness found through character interaction. A little bit predictable perhaps but I'm ok with the ending being happy (which is unusual for me).

13. Moulin Rouge -2001




Why:  Gorgeous film. Rich colour saturation, tremendous costumes and, of course, a totally over the top soundtrack with regular musical numbers. Tragic love story set in Paris with musical re-imagining of pop songs. Perfect.

12. Un long dimanche de fiancailles  (A Very Long Engagement) - 2004




Why: I have a thing for Audrey Tautou. But it's also a good film. The historical backdrop of World War I and enough battle scenes makes it categorize-able as either a war or romance, telling the story of a woman's refusal to believe her fiance is dead and trying to discover exactly what happened. It's a very visually compelling film, in perfect synch with the compelling storyline.


11. Sita Sings the Blues - 2008




Why: It's been a very controversial film since it's done by a Western filmmaker/artist but really I find it well done and in no way disrespectful. I especially love how the contemporary parallel is done. I didn't like the computer graphics and flash animation at first but it grew on me.

10. Punch Drunk Love - 2002




Why: Adam Sandler in a role he was born to play. It is a strange film (Paul Thomas Anderson directed, so it was expected). There's a likability about the character Barry Egan that I find makes him easy to support and hard to be surprised by, despite his many eccentricities. Emily Watson is great as well but it's as much about Sandler's character making himself capable of love than anything else.